Revolutionary War: Motormouth #1 (Comics Review)

Another week, and that means we have another installment in Marvel’s current big event, Revolutionary War, which is meant to revive the publisher’s range of British superheroes, collectively called Marvel UK. The various issues that we’ve seen thus far, something like five of them I think, have been all over the place. Some of them have been good, some not so much, and some have been very disappointing. The last one, Super Soldiers #1, was distinctly disappointing, and my hope had been that the next one would be significantly better.

Motormouth #1 is indeed a better issue than Super Soldiers #1, but not as good as Alpha #1 or even Death’s Head II #1. Starring yet another retired superhero, the issue features Motormouth, who could very well be termed Marvel’s version of DC’s Black Canary. The relevance between the two should be obvious I think, for those who are familiar with the latter. She makes for an interesting character, but the story itself is rather pedestrian and unexciting. The art is decent, but not by much, and ultimately it too disappoints, although not overly so.

Revolutionary War - Motormouth 01First of all, can I just point out that the credits on that cover are for the previous issue, Super Soldiers #1? I fail to see why that is. I checked Marvel’s own site to see if there was a corrected cover, but that hasn’t proven to be true. It is the weirdest thing really, because Marvel is generally good about issues like this. Not to say that they haven’t made mistakes before, I’m sure they have, but it is surprising nonetheless, given the importance of this event for Marvel and Marvel UK. So that’s that.

The story itself follows an extremely predictable path. MI: 13 and SHIELD need Britain’s premier heroes back in the game to counteract the resurgence of the evil organisation Mys-Tech. So they contact yet another retired hero, who has no plan to go back to that old life. The hero then gets attacked by Mys-Tech, lots of action happens, and then we have one of two scenarios, neither of which is really surprising in any way.

And I’m tired of this. There’s no excitement in this story because like with Super Soldiers #1, we’ve already seen this before. The repetition just makes the entire event itself come across as nothing more than a sales gimmick. I mean, events usually are gimmicks to boost sales and push the latest brain-child, but things go a bit too far in Motormouth #1. Sure, I loved seeing a new superhero, a kickass female superhero no less, but as good as she is, Motormouth is still no match for the plot beast.

Points go to Glenn Dakin for showing Motormouth as a single mother of two and showing how “retirement” has changed her over the years, but the concept never quite goes the distance. Like I said, the story is entirely predictable. At this point, I’m just tired of Revolutionary War and it sucks that good, decent issues like Motormouth #1 are suffering for that because Marvel editorial has handled the entire event in such a despiriting manner. Few of the issues have risen above the material, and this one is unfortunately another casualty of the event.

Motormouth is a wonderful character from what little glimpses we get of her. There is a really interesting twist at the end as far as her two kids are concerned. But, it all never clicks you see. As things are going so far, there is little progression in the overall story of the event, and that I find to be the most damning of all. Revolutionary War has effectively been stagnant since its first issue.

Handling the art for this issue, we have Ronan Cliquet on pencils, Ruth Redmond on colours and VC’s Clayton Cowles on the letters. There are two distinct styles in this issue. The opening is quite cartoony as Motormouth tells her kids a bedtime story, with said story being the origin of sorts for the relationship she had with a now-dead hero named Killpower. Then, the art shifts into a more realistic (as such things go) style as we get the present-time story involving Mys-Tech troops attacking Motormouth’s home and her retaliation. The cartoony side is a bit of a rough adjustment at first, but it quickly grows on you. And I did kind of like it. The main art however, it was okay. I generally prefer a less gritty style, and it doesn’t really fit the story as such. But, it was still good, and that’s what matters under the circumstances.

Overall, this is not quite the issue I wanted it to be, and it is better than the previous one, but Revolutionary War finds itself on very thin footing still.

Rating: 7/10

More Revolutionary War: Alpha #1, Dark Angel #1, Knights of Pendragon #1, Death’s Head II #1, Super Soldiers #1.


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